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NEARFest 2009: Photos and Memories

This post is in my series regarding the North East Art Rock Festival (NEARFest), more about which you can find here.  You can find all of my posts regarding NEARFest here and I started the series here.  You can also learn more about this particular Festival here and here.  The information below are just some highlights I remember and photographs I took from the Festival.

The lineup for NEARFest 2009 was (including Friday night):

Here is the 2009 logo, as designed by Mark Wilkinson:

https://i0.wp.com/nearfest.com/images/logo_nf2009.png

 

This was the eleventh NEARFest and my tenth consecutive Festival.  This Festival was the eighth Festival, and sixth consecutive Festival, to take place at at the Zoellner Arts Center on the campus of Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, and it remained there until the last Festival.

The lineup for this Festival was top notch.  First, it marked the return of PFA who originally payed at NEARFest 2005 (see here) and their performance was on par with their performance in 2005.  Gong was the band I was looking forward to as they are a classic space rock band and they did not disappoint.  Gong is legendary and, but for NEARFest, I probably would never have had the chance to see them live.  They seem to be ageless (their lead singer was in his 70s) and their music sounded just as good as it does on the records.  Fantastic performance.  Steve Hillage, of course, is also associated with Gong.  His music and performance was similar but, of course, needless to say, my excitement for him was not the same as that for Gong.

The other band I was truly looking forward to seeing is Van der Graaf Generator (VDGG).  VDGG is fronted by Peter Hammill who played at the last NEARFest (see here).  VDGG is a classic prog rock band who is simply legendary among prog rock fans and, like Gong, I may have never seen them live but for NEARFest.  Their performance was expertly played and suitably dark.  Unfortunately, their band was just a trio with Hammill, a drummer, and an organist.  Considering their best material featured woodwinds and a guitar with a bigger lineup, the set played by VDGG lacked the dynamic range and the sonic diversity their music is supposed to have.  So, I thought their set was a little disappointing because they really could not pull off their own music due to insufficient personnel, though, in saying that, I do not at all regret seeing them as, even with those limitations, they are still a classic band I wanted to see.

Cabezas de Cera is an experimental band, some call them RIO, who, despite my typical bristling on listening to RIO over a long period of time (because it is so dissonant and amelodic), actually appealed to me as they were very musical and exciting.  I actually bought one of their albums.  They’re very creative but also tasteful in an RIO tradition, and that is extremely rare.  Quantum Fantasy was excellent but not particularly original.  They played in the style of space rock which NEARFest has already seen with Hidria Spacefolk (see here) and, more importantly, the masters of the sub-genre, namely Ozric Tentacles (see here).  Perhaps my favorite band of the weekend was DFA.  DFA played NEARFest 2000 (see here), which was my first NEARFest (see here).  DFA’s music is generally instrumental.  It is very complex and influenced by jazz, but also very melodic, tasteful, disciplined, and mature without sounding too busy or like constant noodling.  DFA is a fantastic band and and highly recommended.

Finally, I once again got to meet Marillion cover artist Mark Wilkinson who was, as always, very gentlemanly (he was also at NEARFest 2008, see here).  Wilkinson designed the NEARFest 2009 logo.  Roger Dean, who appeared at, and designed the logo for, NEARFests 2001 – 2008, did not appear at this Festival.  So, NEARFest 2009 is the first Festival that did not feature a Dean logo since NEARFest 2000, which had a logo designed by Van Der Graaf Generator and Genesis artist Paul Whitehead.

Photographs:

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Making Sure Children Actually Hear the Gospel and Not Just a Bunch of Bible Stories

This is from anglicansablaze.blogspot.com which you can find here:

We must not only teach children the stories of Scripture. We must teach them the Story of Scripture.

Children have a faith that is ready to go. Let’s not waste that opportunity by delivering a humanistic Gospel.

We talk a lot about contextualization Gospel communication. How do we share the eternal truth of God in specific locations for specific people who have a specific shared experience?

The Gospel does not change. So the message should remain the same, even as the methods are adjusted for effectiveness.

But how well do we proclaim the Gospel to children? I’m not asking how well we teach children Bible stories, or how well we have taught the moral truths of Scripture.

Are we contextualizing our Gospel communication for children as well as we are for the hipsters in Brooklyn or the tribes in Tanzania? ”

You can learn more about this issue here.

The Incarnation: Its Relevance

This is from anglicansablaze.blogspot.com which you can find here:

“To call the incarnation “relevant” almost sounds patronizing. But we need to recognize the intimate connection between this important doctrine and personal piety.”

You can learn more about this issue here.

Three Questions, Three Fault Lines in America’s Churches

This is from anglicansablaze.blogspot.com which you can find here:

“If the goal was to map the evolving landscape of American religion, the late George Gallup Jr. once told me, it was crucial to keep asking two kinds of questions.

The first kind attempted to document things that never seemed to change, or that were changing very, very slowly. Thus, Gallup urged his team to keep using the old questions his father and others in the family business began asking in the 1940s and ’50s, such as how often people attended worship services, how often they prayed and whether they believed in God.

The second kind of question, he said, tested whether these alleged beliefs and practices affected daily life.”

You can learn more about this issue here.

 

American theology in disarray, survey shows

This is from anglicansablaze.blogspot.com which you can find here:

“A recent survey by Ligonier Ministries shows how inexact the label “Christian” can be. Among Americans, 77 percent say they are Christian. But what does that mean?

To try to answer that question, Ligonier Ministries, the teaching fellowship of popular theologian R.C. Sproul, conducted a benchmark study to try to discern “The State of Theology” in the United States.

Ligonier notes that, while more than two-thirds of Americans agree on a few biblical truths, often more than half of Americans disagree with many statements expressing orthodox Christian doctrine. One such statement is the scriptural belief that humans are, by nature, sinful and under the judgment of God for sin. Read more

From a historic Anglican viewpoint as well as an Anglican Reformed perspective the theology of the Anglican Church in North America is also in disarray–at odds with the Scriptures and the Anglican confessional formularies in a number of key areas.”

You can learn more about this issue here.

 

 

Unchurched America

This is from anglicansablaze.blogspot.com which you can find here:

They pray, own Bibles and are ‘spiritual’ but nearly half still see no value in attending church

New research by the Barna group paints an interesting picture of those who are aware of the church and even think positively of the Christian faith, but who, for whatever reason, feel that actively being a part of church is not for them.

‘Churchless’ is the title of Barna’s latest research into understanding today’s unchurched and how to connect with them.

The research reveals that the number of churchless Americans has risen sharply since the early 1990s, when only around two out of 10 adults were churchless.”

You can learn more about this issue here.

Ministers Can Continue Using the Housing Allowance Per Court Ruling

This is from anglicansablaze.blogspot.com which you can find here:

“A federal appeals court has upheld the tax provision that allows ministers of all faiths to continue receiving housing allowances. As many had predicted, the court rejected an atheist group’s lawsuit seeking to strike down the law that had been in effect for 60 years.

The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago said the atheist group lacked standing, the legal right to sue, because they were not seeking an allowance for themselves. The court panel did not address the constitutionality of the housing allowance since the plaintiffs did not legally qualify to bring the suit.”

You can learn more about this issue here.

A Supreme Court Case to Watch

This is from anglicansablaze.blogspot.com which you can find here:

New York mayor Bill de Blasio campaigned on the promise of letting churches rent school space. Now he’s asking the Supreme Court to prohibit it.

When Bill de Blasio campaigned against Michael Bloomberg in 2013 to become mayor of New York City, he promised to reverse a highly contested city policy that prohibited churches from renting public schools for worship services. In response, religious voters helped de Blasio trounce his opposition with 73 percent of the vote.

But after de Blasio took office in January 2014, he didn’t make the change, even though it could be done executively. Keep reading

A Supreme Court ruling banning churches from renting school space would be a major setback for new church plants. It could be interpreted to include fire station community rooms, community centers, park shelters, and other public buildings that church plants use as meeting places.”

You can learn more about this issue here.

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